Abusing prescription drugs is becoming a growing part of youth culture. Many people think that because doctors prescribe these drugs they are not dangerous. Over 40% of youths think that using prescription drugs to get high is safe, but nothing could be further from the truth. Prescription drug abuse can lead to serious medical problems, addiction, stroke, and even death. Youth sometimes create even more deadly combinations by mixing drugs, washing them down with alcohol, or taking other drugs, and then driving.

The most commonly abused prescription and over-the-counter drugs fall into these categories:

Learn more about Prescription Drugs and the Law

(1) Hughes, A., Sathe, N., & Spagnola, K. (2009). State Estimates of Substance Use from the 2006-2007 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health (Office of Applied Studies, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, NSDUH Series H-35, HHS Publication No. SMA 09-4362). Rockville, MD.
(2) Partnership for a Drug-Free America. (2007, January 24). New survey finds teens and parents think abuse of prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines is safer than illicit drug use. Retrieved July 10, 2007 from www.drugfree.org.
(3) Report released by the Center for Disease Control, February 12th, 2007.
(4) Partnership for a Drug-Free America. (2005, April 21). Generation Rx: National study reveals new category of substance abuse emerging. Retrieved July 10, 2007 from www.drugfree.org.


This information is provided by the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services within the Department of Public Health.